Saturday, July 31, 2010

Breaking News: Theriot & Lilly to LA

The Cubs have traded Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot to the Dodgers for Blake DeWitt and minor league pitchers Brett Wallach and Kyle Smit.

The Cubs also send $2.5 million in the deal.

Here is some info on Blake DeWitt:
  • 2010 stats with LAD: 82 games, .270 AVG, 1 HR, 30 RBIs
  • Positions: 3B, 2B
  • B/T: Left/Right
  • Drafted: By the Dodgers in the first round of the 2004 draft.
  • MLB Debut: March 31, 2008
  • Born: August 20, 1985

Info on Brett Wallach:

  • B/T: Right
  • Born: December 2, 1988
  • Drafted: By the Dodgers in the 3rd round of 2009
  • Position: Pitcher
  • 2010 Team: Pitching for Great Lakes of the Midwest League, which is low Class-A ball.
  • Stats: 6-0, 3.72 ERA, 17 starts this year

Info on Kyle Smit:

  • B/T: Right
  • Born: Oct 14 1987
  • Drafted: By the Dodgers in the 5th round of the 2006 draft.
  • Position: Pitcher
  • 3 IP, 0 R allowed in three games with Double-A Chattanooga this season
  • 5-3, 2.49 ERA, 34 games (1 starts) with Inland Empire of the Class-A Advanced California League

It's the end of an error the Cubs, who lose two great guys in Lilly and Theriot.

I'll update when more info comes along.

Trade Deadline Countdown: Will the Cubs make a move?

The Major League Baseball trade deadline is coming up at 3:00pm CT. There are no shortage of rumors, but will any moves be made by Cubs GM Jim Hendry?

If will update this post throughout the day with more info as it comes out.

Updated at 11:30am CT- Scroll down for the latest.

Here is the latest from the mill:

  • The Yankees are not going after Ted Lilly according to Buster Olney.
  • Ken Rosethal writes that a deal with the Dodgers was fairly close last night. The Dodgers, Twins, Tigers, and Yankees all have interest in the Cubs southpaw.
  • Rosenthal also reports that the Cubs have gotten "minor sniffs" on Xavier Nady and Mike Fontenot.
  • Ryan Theriot is still a possibility for the Dodgers or Yankees. A Theriot for Kelly Johnson swap has been discussed.
  • Carlos Zambrano said yesterday that he wants to stay a Cub, but he would accept a trade if the organization asked him to do so.
  • Jon Heyman of SI tweets that the Mets offered the Cubs Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo for Zambrano, but the Cubbies said no.
  • Bruce Levine reports that the Cubs could send Ryan Theriot and James Russell to Arizona for Kelly Johnson.
  • The Dodgers are in the mix on Lilly, but Rosenthal tweets that the two sides are still apart on money and players.
  • George Ofman of WGN Radio also says that a Lilly deal to LA is still alive but it's all about how much the Cubs will pay the Dodgers.

Updated at 11:30 CT- The latest on Lilly:

  • Tim Brown of Yahoo tweets that the Dodgers are growing more optimistic that they can acquire Lilly.
  • Ken Rosenthal says that the Cubs and Dodgers are still working the phones hard.
  • Rosenthal adds that the trade is not done, but Theriot could be involved as well.

I will keep you posted, updating often with more rumors or whenever news breaks!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Series Preview: Cubs VS Rockies

Update 4:40 CT- Bobby Howry has been released by the Cubs. He was let go to make room for Carlos Zambrano on the roster, who if officially reinstated according a tweet from Carrie Muskat.

The Cubs are set to begin a three game series in Colorado tonight. The big story though is the fact that that the Major League Baseball trade deadline is less than 24 hours away. Will Hendry make a move our will the Cubs roster still be intact by the second game of this set tomorrow night?

The Cubbies still cannot figure out how to beat the terrible teams in the NL Central. They dropped two of three to the Astros earlier in the week, losing a series to the 'Stros for the second week in a row. They must win this series in order to salvage a decent road trip.

Lou's crew comes in with a 46-56 record, ten games under .500. They have dropped back to fourth place in the Central, 10.5 behind the first place Reds. They are looking to get back in the win column tonight after back-to-back losses Tuesday and Wednesday before Thursday's off day. The Cubs are 20-29 away from Wrigley.

The Rockies are not exactly riding high either. They have lost eight of their last nine to fall out of the NL West picture. As it stands going into action tonight, Colorado has a 52-50 overall mark, which puts them in fourth in the West. They are 9 games in back of the Padres.

Colorado topped Pittsburgh yesterday 9-3 to end and eight game losing streak. They are a cold team, but they're getting healthy as players are starting to return from injuries. The Rockies coaching staff includes several guys with Cubs connections like first base coach Glenallen Hill (Cubs outfielder '93-'94, '98-'99), hitting coach Don Baylor (Cubs manager 2000-'02), and
manager Jim Tracy (made his MLB debut as a player with the Cubs in 1980).

Other than the trade deadline, the big story this weekend is the return of Carlos Zambrano. Big Z has been on the restricted list with his anger issues since a dugout explosion in a mid-June game against the White Sox. The media will be all over Zambrano, who is expected to meet with his team and talk about the incident.

Here is Carlos' minor league rehab recap:
1 IP, 0 H, 0 R in only outing with Mesa Cubs
1 IP, 2 H, 0 R in July 22 outing with Iowa Cubs
2 IP, 1 H, 0 R in July 24 outing with Iowa Cubs
1 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 ER in July 27 outing with Iowa Cubs

The Cubs will have to make a move in order to make room for Zambrano on the roster. There is a chance that Bobby Howry will be let go of, but most likely Brian Schlitter or Justin Berg will head back to Iowa.

The Cubs have had success against Colorado this season. They swept a brief two game set at Wrigley May 17-18. This is the only trip to Coors Field that the Cubs make all year, it is the final set between the two teams, and a win tonight could assure the Cubs a season series victory.

Game 1: Friday at 8:10 CT
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Ryan Dempster, RHP (8-7, 3.71 ERA)
Rockies Starting Pitcher: Jeff Francis, LHP (3-3, 4.56 ERA)
TV/Radio: WGN-TV/WGN Radio

Game 2: Saturday at 7:10 CT
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Tom Gorzelanny, LHP (6-5, 3.22 ERA)
Rockies Starting Pitcher: Jason Hammel, RHP (7-6, 4.34 ERA)
TV/Radio: WGN-TV/WGN Radio

Game 3: Sunday at 2:10 CT
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Carlos Silva, RHP (10-4, 3.76 ERA)
Rockies Starting Pitcher: Jorge De La Rosa, LHP (3-3, 5.15 ERA)
TV/Radio: CSN/WGN Radio

Ron Santo is not on this road trip, but his health if fine and he is resting at home. Keith Moreland did a great job of pinch hitting on the WGN Radio broadcast in Houston. Most likely either Davd Otto or Judd Sirott will join Pat Hughes for this series.

I will update this post if any news breaks.

Let's finish out the month strong!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Off Day Notes Two Days Before the Deadline

Saturday is the Major League Baseball Trade Deadline, and the futures of many of the Cubs are still in the air. Let's get all the latest updates as the Cubs take a day off before starting a series with the Rockies tomorrow night.
  • Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee rejected a trade to the Angels yesterday. He used his 10 and 5 rights (10 years in MLB, 5 with the same team) to block the trade. Lee says this is a family decision and he plans to stay with the Cubs the rest of the season.
  • Geovany Soto is expected to return to the lineup tomorrow night after missing Wednesday's game with a foot injury.
  • Cubs No. 1 draft pick in 2007 Josh Vitters is out with a broken hand. He has been having a rough year at the plate with the Tennessee Smokies. Vitters could play in the Arizona Fall League in October.
  • The Twins are unlikely to acquire Ted Lilly according a tweet from Jon Paul Morosi of FOX.
  • The Mets are still in Lilly, but Ken Davidoff doesn't see it happening.
  • The New York Post reports that you can "forget about the Mets dealing for Lilly".
  • The Dodgers are one team that appear to still be in the mix for Teddy.
  • Peoria Chiefs manager Casey Kopitzke will be at the helm for the Mesa Solar Sox of the AFL.
  • Check out all of the minor league news in my Down on the Farm Report over on the CCO.
  • Jon Heyman tweets that the Mets asked for Tom Gorzelanny, but the Cubs don't want to trade him.
  • Ted Lilly says that it is evident that he would prefer to stay in Chicago for the future.
  • Carlos Zambrano will rejoin the Cubs in Colorado tomorrow night. Brian Schlitter is expected to be sent down to make room on the roster, but Bobby Howry could be let go.

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted as we approach the deadline.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Getting to Know the Cubs: Brian Schlitter

Brian Schlitter has rejoined the Cubs bullpen after a short stint on the disabled list. Let's get to know a little bit more about the young hurler.
Position: Pitcher
Bats/Throws: Right
Drafted: by the Phillies in the 16th round of the 2007 draft.
Major League Debut: June 28, 2010
Major League Stats: 0-1, 10.80 ERA, 4 Games, 5 IP
Born: December 21, 1985 in Oak Park, IL
Age: 24
2010 Minor League Stats: 1-1, 3.72 ERA, 30 games, and 12 saves
Came to the Organization: From the Phillies in August of 2008 in return for Scott Eyre
Hopefully Brian improves and has a positive impact on the Cubs bullpen!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Catching Up Quick Hits: Ramirez back in '11, Kosuke for Sale, D-Lee to Stay, and More

Sorry for the lack of posting yesterday, but today we're back with all the latest from the rumor mill and more. The trade deadline is coming up on Saturday!
  • Cubs catcher Geovany Soto left last night's game with a foot injury. He is not in the starting lineup for tonight's game against the Astros, but the Cubs hope he can return by Wednesday, Friday at the latest.
  • The team has narrowed the list of potential Spring Training sites in Mesa to three locations.
  • Carlos Zambrano is expected to rejoin the Cubs in Colorado on Friday. He cannot wait to apologize to his teammates in person. Z told Carrie Muskat that he knows that he made a mistake.
  • Aramis Ramirez was named the NL Player of the Week for last week. He was the first Cubs position player to win the award since May of '08.
  • Speaking of Ramirez, Gordon Wittenmyer reports he wants to stay in Chicago and will most likely exercise his player option for 2011.
  •'s Jayson Stark writes that Ryan Theriot is one of the players that has been linked to the Padres in recent rumors.
  • Stark also reports that he heard before that Lilly would definitely be traded before July 31, but many teams have cooled off on the Cubs lefty.
  • Bob Nightengale tweets that the Rangers are taking a close look at Derrek Lee.
  • The Cubs will pay part of the $4M-plus left on Kosuke's deal this year, and quite of a bit of $13.5M salary next year if they can trade him.
  • Stark tweeted that it is highly doubtful that Derrek Lee will waive his no-trade clause.
  • Jon Heyman thinks the Yankees could go for Ted Lilly, who they had before and like.
  • Chris De Luca chimes in and says that Lilly is not the only Cubs southpaw drawing interest.
  • The Angels and Rangers both have some interest in D-Lee.
  • Ryan Theriot could be "the first Cub to be traded" according to David Kaplan. Kap, who's a buddy of Ryan, says that the interest in the Cubs second baseman has gone up.
  • Bruce Miles shot down a report that the Cubs were interested in Chone Figgins of Seattle.
  • Ted Lilly is scheduled to take on the 'Stros tonight. Will this be his last start in a Cubs uniform? Or is it possible that he will be traded between now and the first pitch?
  • John Grabow threw in the bullpen yesterday but will probably not be activated before the end of this trip.

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted on Everything Cubs as always.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Hawk's Day

2010 must be the year of the hawk. In Chicago alone, the Blackhawks took home the Stanley Cup and Andre "The Hawk" Dawson was finally voted into Cooperstown.

Today's the day that Dawson is officially inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Coverage from Cooperstown starts at 11:30 on the MLB Network. This is truly a day set aside for Dawson for several reasons.

1) He is the only player going into to the Hall this year.
2) The Cubs play the Sunday Night Game of the Week, so the fan base can focus on the induction this afternoon.
3) This honor is long overdue.

The rest of the 2010 Hall of Fame class is made up of umpire Doug Harvey, manager Whitey Herzog, broadcaster John Miller, and writer Bill Madden. Dawson will be entering the Hall of Fame wearing an Expos cap, even though he made clear that his first choice would have been to go in as a Cub.

Check out the Hawk4theHall blog where they count down the ten greatest moments of Andre's career. The site did a great job of showing support for Dawson before he was elected. Charley, the writer of Hawk4theHall, also points out that The Hawk could be the last guy ever to go into the Hall wearing an Expos cap.

Other articles to honor Dawson:

So once again, congratulations Andre Dawson!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Weekend Radio Recaps: Trammell & Ted on ESPN 1000

Today Ted Lilly was on Talkin' Baseball to talk with Levine and Hood about the possibility of being traded:
  • First the guys talked about the Chicago Cubs Cookbook, which is a great fundraiser for Di George syndrome.
  • Carrie Muskat of put together a book of Cubs players' favorite recipes.
  • Ryan Dempster is a guy who always goes out of his way for others, so it's great to help with him and his daughter.
  • Lilly said that the Cubs are starting to play better, but it's been one of those seasons where everything hasn't come together on the same day.
  • Teddy would like to stay in Chicago, win, and have the trade thing not be an issue. He feels like one of the things he is responsible for is to help his team win. There is a lot of unfinished business for him in the Windy City.
  • "This has been a great place to play and the reason for that is the fans," Lilly said.

Alan Trammell joined Waddle & Silvy yesterday to talk about the open Cubs managers job:

  • Alan doesn't have any secrets about the coaching staff to give the guys.
  • The four years Trammell has been with Lou have been tremendous and he really appreciates the opportunity.
  • He played in the AL all of his career, but he says that the folks in St. Louis are good fans and good baseball people.
  • When asked if he expectes to be a prime candidate for the opening managerial position, Trammell said that that would be a better question for Jim Hendry.
  • Alan is a coach here and wants to focus in the 2+ months left in the season. Regardless on what your record is, you're supposed to come out and try to win everyday.
  • He said that it's nice to be considered for the Cubs manager's job, but right now he wants to focus on 2010. Nobody in the organization has told him that he will be considered yet.
  • This has not been the type of season that the Cubs were expecting. "It's just been one thing after another. We've been consistently inconsistent," he said.
  • Trammell thinks that he and Lou have totally different personalities.
  • Dusty Baker and Piniella have both said that it is much more challenging to win with the Cubs than they thought coming into the gig. Alan says that it's been a long time since the Cubs won, and that topic comes up so much, that it makes it tougher.
  • He is very pleased with Starlin Castro's progress. Alan can tell that this guy wants to be a good player and is only going to get better.

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Series Preview: Cubs VS Cardinals

When it's the Cubs and the Cardinals, the two teams step it up a notch. Usually, no matter where the teams are in the standings, competitive baseball is played! Let's hope that is the case this weekend when the 43-53 Cubs meet the 54-42 Cards at Wrigley Field.

St. Louis has the lead in the NL Central by 1.5 games over the Reds. They are 11 games in front of the 4th place Cubs. The Cards lost to the Phillies yesterday, but they're 8-2 in their last ten games! That loss snapped an eight game winning streak and ruined a perfect homestand. Today is the start of a six game road swing that will continue on to New York after Sunday.

This stretch of ten straight games at Wrigley started on a positive not when the Cubbies took three of four from the Phillies. However, they lost two of three at the hands of the woeful Astros. A winning homestand hinges on this set against the NL Central's top dog.

The Cubs and Cards have only met in one other series so far this year. The Cubs dropped two of three at Wrigley May 28-30. St. Lou got wins in blowout fashion, 7-1 in game one and 9-1 in game three. A lot of rivalry games will be played in the final two months, as these two teams meet 3 times in August and 6 in September. They play the next two of those series at Busch Stadium and the September 24-26 set will be back at The Friendly Confines.

Even though Tony La Russa has said that he will probably never manage the Cubs, he will still have to field a lot of questions from the Chicago media about the job opening. Tony's future is uncertain as 2010 is the final year of his contract. He has said that there are too many conflicts for him to take the Cubs job because of his relationships and history with both the Cardinals and White Sox.

General Manager John Mozeliak is much more comfortable after inking a three year extension last week. Cubs GM Jim Hendry also has job security after it was announced that he will lead the search for a new skipper. Hendry's main focus right now is the trade deadline that is only 8 days away. So far the Cubs have been silent and there have not been too many big moves around baseball.

Jayson Stark of says that Ted Lilly will almost certainly be traded. Tom Gorzelanny is on the market as well. With Carlos Zambrano rehabbing at Triple-A Iowa, it is possible that he could fill any opening in the rotation at some point. Z is expected to return to the bullpen next weekend in Colorado. He tossed a shutout inning for the I-Cubs last night and will make two more appearances there.

Carlos Silva will not pitch in this series because he is going to work with Larry Rothschild on the side after two straight bad outings. The Cubs say the issue is not injury related, but Silva has had hamstring problems this season.

Even though the three big stories this weekend seem to be the search for Lou's replacement, the trade deadline, and the HOF induction, there are still some big games to be played between the Cubs and Cardinals.

Game 1: Friday at 1:20 CT
Cardinals Starting Pitcher: Jeff Suppan, RHP (0-3, 4.20 ERA)
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Randy Wells, RHP (4-7, 4.33 ERA)
TV/Radio: WGN/WGN Radio

Game 2: Saturday at 12:05 CT
Cardinals Starting Pitcher: Blake Hawksworth, RHP (4-5, 4.85 ERA)
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Tom Gorzelanny, LHP (5-5, 3.12 ERA)
TV/Radio: CSN/WGN Radio

Game 3: Sunday at 7:05 CT
Cardinals Starting Pitcher: Chris Carpenter, RHP (11-3, 3.05 ERA)
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Ryan Dempster, RHP (8-7, 3.70 ERA)
TV/Radio: ESPN/WGN Radio

The Cubs will travel to Houston after Sunday's game to start a trip that also will see a stop in Colorado. They will return to Wrigley on August 2.

Let's go get a series win!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mid-Week Quick Hits: Piniella, Zambrano, Rumors, & More

  • Former AAA-Iowa manager and current Nationals coach Pat Listach has interest in managing the Cubs next season according to Bill Ladson.
  • Tom Ricketts announced during the press conference yesterday that Jim Hendry will be the Cubs GM going into the 2011 season.
  • The USA Today tossed out a few new possible replacements in Ted Simmons and Bobby Valentine.
  • Number 1 draft pick Hayden Simpson is not expected to play this summer. He's battling mononucleosis.
  • Carlos Zambrano retired the side in order in a rehab inning with the Mesa Cubs. Jeff Gray, who is rehabbing from a groin injury, pitched the first inning of the game against the AZL Royals.
  • Zambrano will pitch at AAA-Iowa tomorrow night and rejoin the team by the end of next week according to Carrie Muskat.
  • Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago reports that John Grabow, who is out with a knee injury, will begin throwing off the mound soon and will need a rehab assignment before being activated.
  • Bruce Levine reports that Lou Piniella would like to stay in baseball as a consultant with either the Cubs or Yankees.
  • Bruce's list of possible replacements includes the regulars plus Greg Maddux.
  • Ryan Theriot wants to win, and he wants to do it in a Cubs uniform.
  • ESPN says that the Tigers have some level of interest in Ted Lilly, who is available.
  • Levine thinks that the Yankees could join the hunt for Lilly that already includes the Tigers, Twins, Mets, and Dodgers.

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted on Everything Cubs as always!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Breaking News: Lou Piniella to Retire at Season's End

It's the end of an era as Cubs manager Lou Piniella has announced that he will retire at the end of the 2010 season. Piniella is in his fourth year at the helm for the Cubbies and his 23rd season as a big league skipper.

He started off his managing career with the Yankees ('86-'88) before moving on to Cincinnati, where he won his only World Series ring as a manager in 1990. After two more seasons with the Reds, Piniella moved on to Seattle, where he spent the next ten years. Then, Sweet Lou spent three years in Tampa and one as a broadcaster for FOX before coming to the Cubs in 2007.

His MLB career got underway when he was named the 1969 Rookie of the Year with the Royals. He had already played part of seasons with Baltimore and Cleveland, but '69 is the year he broke in for good. Piniella spent the bulk of his playing career ('74-'84) in left field for the Yankees.

Sweet Lou ranks 14th all time in managerial wins. The best year of his time with the Cubs was 2008, when he led his team to 97 wins and took home NL Manager of the Year honors.

To break down his time with the Cubs year-by-year (regular season):
2007: good
2008: great
2009: average
2010: not good (so far)

Post Season:
2007: Swept by Arizona in NLDS
2008: Swept by LA in NLDS
2009: No
2010: ???

Lou has a press conference coming up at 3:45 CT, which you can catch on MLB Network and most likely CSN Chicago.

David Kaplan tweets that Piniella is retiring and is upset that the news leaked. Lou is committed to trying to help this team win the rest of the season.

Now, it's time to talk about what effect this move will have on the 2011 Chicago Cubs! Paul Sullivan breaks down possible replacements Ryne Sandberg, Joe Girardi, Bob Brenly, Joe Torre, and Allan Trammell.

On a quick side note... the Cubs made a roster move today adding an arm from Iowa in Jeff Stevens. Mitch Atkins was sent back the other way. They play the Astros tonight at 7:05 in game two at Wrigley.

Look, we'll have more on Lou later!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Series Preview: Cubs VS Astros

After starting the second half successfully by taking three of four from the Phillies the question is Can the Cubs win with consistency? After knocking Roy Halladay around on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, the Cubbies must avoid the let down factor and win a series against the lowly Astros.

Saturday's game was a tough one, because the Cubs were that close to sweeping the series and having a four game over .500 weekend instead of a two games over .500 weekend.

The Cubs have a history of having trouble with struggling teams like the Astros and Pirates. If this mini turn around is for real, beating the 'Stros before a tough weekend series with St. Louis is a must.

Houston comes in to Wrigley Field with a 37-55 record, 14 games back in the NL Central. They are still in fifth place, 4.5 ahead of the Bucs. After a crucial series victory, the Cubs are tied with the Brewers for third in the division. Both teams are 9.5 games back of St. Louis, who took over first with a win yesterday.

The Astros, who are in the Windy City for three games, have had a tough go of it on the road, 17-29 this season. They started their second half by dropping two of three in Pittsburgh. Houston will look to bounce back tonight after a tough 9-0 defeat yesterday.

The Cubbies dropped two of three when the two teams met August 16-18 at Wrigley. The Cubs lost the first set of the year at Minute Maid June 4-6, so the 'Stros have a 4-2 edge in the season series thusfar. The two teams will not go long without seeing each other, as a three game set in Houston starts next Monday. The Central division foes will battle at Wrigley one more time after this series, September 6-8 in the final meetings of the year.

Marlon Byrd had a great series against the Phills and continued to show that he's a team player. Marlon was hit by the pitch four times in the series, twice last night. He is second in the league in HBP with 16. Rickie Weeks, who has been plunked 17 times, leads the league.

Tyler Colvin hit lead-off yesterday and Starlin Castro returned to the No. 2 spot in the order. We'll see if Lou keeps the kids at the top tonight. Piniella also showed craftiness in the series, calling for two squeeze bunts and several other strategic plays to try to get the offense going.

Carlos Zambrano could rejoin the team in time for their next road trip, which starts a week from today. Z tossed a simulated game in Mesa and is expected to make a rehab start at Triple-Iowa this week.

Game 1: Monday 7:05 PM CT
Astros Starting Pitcher: Wandy Rodriguez, LHP (6-11, 4.97 ERA)
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Carlos Zambrano, RHP (9-3, 3.45 ERA)
TV/Radio: WCIU/WGN 720

Game 2: Tuesday 7:05 PM CT
Astros Starting Pitcher: Wesley Wright, LHP (0-0, 5.59 ERA)
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Ryan Dempster, RHP (8-7, 3.57 ERA)
TV/Radio: CSN/WGN 720

Game 3: Wednesday 1:20 PM CT
Astros Starting Pitcher: Brett Myers, RHP (7-6, 3.35 ERA)
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Ted Lilly, LHP (3-8, 4.07 ERA)
TV/Radio: WGN-TV/WGN 720

The bottom line for the Cubs is just taking it one win at a time. After this series they will enjoy a day off tomorrow and then host St. Louis to round out the ten game homestand. The Astros start a homestand of their own against the Reds on Friday. The Cubs and Brewers will be in town to play the 'Stros next week.

The MLB Trade Deadline is less than two weeks away... but will the Cubs play on the field effect whether the Hendry decides buy or sell, or is it a case of too little too late.

"I don't care who wins as long as it's the Cubs!"

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Game Preview: Charlotte Stone Crabs VS Daytona Cubs

Tonight, I will be attending a minor league baseball game in Florida! Although Everything Cubs readers are probably not going, I will provide you with a game preview to give you more information about the Cubs' Class-A affiliate.

Match Up
Charlotte Stone Crabs (Rays' Class-A) VS Daytona Cubs
First Pitch: 4:35 PM CT
Location: Charlotte Sports Park
League: Florida State League (Class-A Advanced)

About Charlotte Sports Park
The stadium is the home of the Tampa Bay Rays during Spring Training. It was built in 1988 but underwent major renovations before the 2009 season. The spring of '09 was the first time the Rays called Charlotte Sports Park their Spring Training home. The Stone Crabs also started playing there in the summer in '09, so it's just their second season at this ballpark. It served as the spring home of the Rangers from 1988 to 2001. Then, Charlotte Sports Park was without a tenant until 2007, when the Charlotte County Redfish of the independent South Coast League, spent just one season there.

D-Cubs Season to Date
The Cubs season has been up and down so far. They went just 34-36 in the first half for a fifth place finish out of six teams. However, since the standings reset at the midway point the D-Cubs have played better with a 12-10 record to bring them up to .500 on the season. Daytona is in third place, just two games out of first in the North. They dropped three of four at home against Fort Myers in a series that wrapped up yesterday.

Stone Crabs Season to Date
The Stone Crabs won the FSL South in the first half with a record of 43-26. They have already clinched a spot in the postseason, so they're not too concerned with their 9-14 start to the second half, which puts them in fifth. The Stone Crabs are in a losing streak of their own, dropping three in a row in Brevard County Thursday-Saturday.

Daytona Players to Watch
Michael Brenly is the D-Cubs starting catcher and has a .298 batting average. DJ LeMahieu, Rebel Ridling, and Kyler Burke are among the other big boppers for Daytona. LeMahieu is an infielder who played shortstop for LSU in the College World Series. After a great season a year ago, Burke has had a down 2010 at the plate. Ridling, a first baseman is heating up and leads the club in homers with 9.

Charlotte Players to Watch
Stephen Vogt has been terrific at the dish this year. He's mostly used as the DH and is hitting .341. Also keep an eye on third baseman Greg Sexton and catcher Matt Spring.

D-Cubs Starting Pitcher: Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP
Rhee has a 2-9 record but his ERA is decent at 4.46. This will be his 18th start (19th appearance). Rhee, who's from South Korea, is 21 years old. He pitched for Mesa and Boise last season.

Stone Crabs Starting Pitcher: Shane Dyer, RHP
Dyer has made 11 starts since being promoted from the Midwest League, where he start the season. He has a record of 4-6 with a 3.31 ERA with Charlotte. A sixth round pick in 2008, Shane was the FSL Pitcher of the Week for the week of June 7.

Radio Broadcast
Locally in Daytona on 1340 AM and on

Up Next
This is the first of a four game series between the two clubs. The set will continue tomorrow night at 6:05 CT.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Getting to Know the Cubs: Ted Lilly

Will Wednesday's start be Ted Lilly's last in a Cubs uniform?
Lilly, who is in the last year of his contract, has been at the center of many trade rumors and reports this month. He could very well be sent packing from Chicago before the end of this month.
There have been a lot of great memories of Ted pitching for the Cubs... but we won't dive into those until he leaves the time, which hopefully will not be anytime soon.
For now, let's learn a little bit more about the background of the Cubs' durable lefty.

Full Name: Theodore Roosevelt Lilly III
Position: Pitcher
B/T: Left
Drafted: By the Dodgers in the 23rd round of the 1996 draft
MLB Debut: May 14, 1999 with the Expos
Teams: Expos (1999), NYY (2000-'02), A's ('02-'03), Blue Jays ('04-'06), and Cubs ('07-present)
All-Star Games: 2004 & 2009
Signed with the Cubs: December 15, 2006
Nickname: The Bulldog
Age: 34
Jersey Number: 30
Born: January 4, 1976
2010 Stats: 3-8, 4.07 ERA
Career Stats: 106-92, 4.24 ERA
Interesting Fact: Ted pitched in two games for team USA during the '09 World Baseball Classic.
Teddy is a good guy to have on your team. Hopefully it is in the Cubs plans to resign him at the end of this year! However, if he doesn't fit into the 2011 picture a trade now makes sense!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Weekend Quick Hits: Lilly Updates, Zambrano on Rehab, Rumors and More

The Cubs have looked good so far, winning the first two games against the Phillies to start the second half! Here's the latest news and notes with rumors and more!
  • Chicago baseball insider Bruce Levine reports that the Phillies, Rockies, and Tigers have all had conversations about Ryan Theriot in the recent weeks.
  • He adds that the Mets, Twins, Tigers, and Dodgers all have had talks with the Cubs about Lilly in recent days, and that the Rangers have some interest in Xaiver Nady.
  • Lou Piniella tells Carrie Muskat that Lilly wants to stay in Chicago and the coaching staff would like for him to stay in Chicago.
  • Cubs fans have a chance to support a good cause and ride their bike from Chicago to Miller Park for the Cubs/Brewers game on 9/11.
  • Carlos Zambrano is out of therapy and has begun his rehab assignment at the team's Spring Training home in Mesa, Arizona according to Paul Sullivan. He tossed 25 pitches and could start a minor league rehab in the next week.
  • Lou said that the Cubs plan to put Big Z in the bullpen but they "could do anything."
  • Piniella spent the three-day All-Star Break enjoying the city of Chicago with his family.
  • Sullivan reports that Jim Hendry talked with Teddy about his future before last night's game.

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Series Preview: Cubs VS Phillies

After three full days of resting up, the Cubs will return to the field tonight when they host the Phillies at Wrigley. They finished up the All-Star Break by losing three of four to the Dodgers this past weekend. The final game of the first half, a thrashing at the hands of L.A., perfectly summed up the frustration felt by Cubs fans this season.

The Phillies are in for four to start this ten game homestand. The Astros will come to town next followed by the Cardinals. The red hot Philadelphia club, who completed a four game sweep of the Reds with a 1-0 win on Sunday, will start the second half with eight games in the Midwest. The will travel to St. Louis at the conclusion of their series in Chicago.

The defending National League champs currently stand in third place in the East at 47-40. That mark puts them 4.5 games back of the over-achieving Braves. They haven't played very well on the road at 20-22, but teams can get away with a .500 road mark if they play very well at home.

The Cubbies are an example of a team that does not play very well at home or on the road. Their 20-23 home mark is not bad compared to their overall record of 39-50. With the loss on Sunday, the Boys in Blue dropped to fourth in the Central, 9.5 out of first.

Going into this season, most people didn't expect the Cubs to win the division, but nobody expected them to play as poorly as they have so far. Everyone in the organization is hoping to see a better product on the field in the second half. With the July 31 trade deadline looming, it's time for the organization to decide what direction they want to go in. Reportedly there are offers on the table for Ted Lilly, Ryan Theriot, and Xavier Nady. Management may want to see a few more games before they call for a fire sale, so it's important for this team to have a good series in order to keep the current roster intact.

Marlon Byrd is the lone Cub who can call himself an All-Star. He did a fine job of single handily representing the organization at Angel Stadium on Tuesday. He helped the National League to a 3-0 victory, the first time the Senior Circuit took a Mid-Summer Classic W single 1996. Byrd walked, scored, and made a terrific defensive play in the ninth inning. Byrd will take that momentum into this four game stint against his former team.

After managing the N.L. to a win on Tuesday, Philly skipper Charlie Manuel will try to get his club to roll over the slumping Cubs. Manuel's roster was staked with former Cubs last year, but now the lone ex-Cub is veteran pitcher Jamie Moyer, who will start game one of this series.

The two teams met at Citizens Bank Park earlier this season, a brief two game set May 19-20 that resulted in a split. The season series will conclude when this set wraps up on Sunday.

Starting tonight, 50/50 game day raffles will take place at Wrigley Field. One fan will win big at every home game the rest of the season. Proceeds benefit Chicagoland charities. Click for the press release from

Game 1: Thursday 7:05 CT
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Ryan Dempster, RHP (7-7, 3.61 ERA)
Phillies Starting Pitcher: Jamie Moyer, LHP (9-8, 4.51 ERA)
TV/Radio: WCIU/WGN Radio

Game 2: Friday 1:20 CT
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Ted Lilly, LHP (3-8, 4.08 ERA)
Phillies Starting Pitcher: Joe Blanton, RHP (3-5, 6.41 ERA)
TV/Radio: CSN/WGN Radio

Game 3: Saturday 12:05 CT
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Randy Wells, RHP (4-7, 4.61 ERA)
Phillies Starting Pitcher: Cole Hamels, LHP (7-7, 3.78 ERA)
TV/Radio: CSN/WGN Radio

Check Spelling
Game 4: Sunday at 7:05
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Tom Gorzelanny, LHP (4-5, 3.16 ERA)
Phillies Starting Pitcher: Roy Halladay, RHP (10-7, 2.19 ERA)
TV/Radio: ESPN/WGN Radio

The first game of this series is of the utmost importance. Setting the tone in a series has been critical for the Cubbies. Since May 21, they've gone on to loose every series where they've dropped game one and gone on to win every series where they've won the first game.

The key to a good second half for the team is bounce back performances from the stars (namely Lee and Ramirez). It all starts tonight...

so I don't care who wins as long as it's the Cubs!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Numbers Breakdown: A Look at the 2009-2010 Offseason Now

Half way through the year, we always like to take a look at back at what Jim Hendry did in his offseason transactions. It's fun to grade the moves when they happen, but at that point we are just speculating. Now that we have seen the Cubs play, we know if how the moves are turning out so far.

Based on the Cubs record, one would think that the Hendry's offseason moves have not panned out. However, that is not necessarily the case!

Date: 11/19/09
Move: Traded Aaron Heilman to Arizona for Ryne White and Scott Maine
Heilman's Numbers (this season): 2-3, 3.83 ERA
Maine's Numbers: 2.20 ERA in 12 games at AA, 3.81 ERA in 20 games at AAA
White's Numbers: .228 AVG 11 games at Daytona
Move Grade: B-

Date: 11/20/09
Move: Resigned John Grabow
Grabow's Stats: 1-3, 7.36 ERA in 28 games this season
Move Grade: F

Date: 12/4/09
Move: Jake Fox and Aaron Miles traded to Oakland for Jeff Gray, Ronny Morla, & Matt Spencer
Fox's stats: .222 AVG, 51 games between Baltimore and Oakland
Miles' Stats: Only played in minor with A's before being released, picked up by St. Louis
Gray's Stats: Brief stint w/ Cubs, 5.00 ERA in 7 game at AAA, currently injured
Morla's Stats: 2-2, 3.58 ERA, 28 games at Peoria
Spencer's Stats: .286 AVG at Daytona; .264 AVG, 9 HR, 33 RBIs at AA
Move Grade: A-

Date: 12/18/09
Move: Traded Milton Bradley to Seattle for Carlos Silva & cash
Bradley's Stats: .210 AVG in 62 games
Silva's Stats: 9-3, 3.45 ERA, 17 starts
Move Grade: A

Date: 1/2/10
Move: Signed Marlon Byrd to a 3-year contract
Byrd's stats: .317 AVG, 18 games
Move Grade: A

Date: 1/27/10
Move: Signed Chad Tracy to a minor league deal w/ Spring Training invite
Tracy's stats: .250 AVG, 28 games before being DFA'd
Move Grade: C+

Date: 1/29/10
Move: Signed Xavier Nady to a one year contract
Nady's Stats: .225 AVG, 62 Games
Move Grade: C-

Move (Grade): Allowing Kevin Gregg (B-), Neal Cotts (A), Reed Johnson (C), Rich Harden (B+), and Chad Fox (A) to leave via free agency.

With the additions of Byrd, Silva, and some prospects and the subtractions of Jake Fox, Miles, Bradley, Heilman, and other Hendry had a very good offeason. The only moves that didn't turn out well were resigning Grabow and signing Nady.

Overall Offseason Grade Now: B

And remember... the numbers don't lie!

Monday, July 12, 2010

All Star Break Roundup: Rumors, TV Schedule, The Futures Game, and More

Before we get into all of the Cubs rumors going around today, let's start with the All-Star festivities!

Yesterday, the XM Radio All-Star Futures Game took place at Angel Stadium! The U.S. team beat the World 9-1 took even the all time series at 6-6. Two Cubs prospects took part in the game. Brett Jackson was on the winning U.S. team. Jackson struck out in his first at bat and walked in his only other trip to the plate. Right after drawing the base on balls, he was picked-off first base by the catcher. Jackson started in center field and then moved over to right in the second inning.

Hak-Ju Lee came off the bench to play the second half of the game at shortstop for the World team. Lee is a 19 year old who is playing for the Peoria Chiefs. He popped out to short in his first AB before drilling a sharp single to left in the 8th. Hak-Ju had a fun week playing at Wrigley Field on Wednesday and Angel Stadium on Saturday. However, he had a rough time in the field in Sunday's Futures Game, making two mistakes at short (1 ruled a hit, the other ruled an error).

For those of you that don't know, here's the full schedule of the MLB-All Star Break on TV. All times are CDT.

Now-7:00 MLB All-Star Batting Practice, MLB Network
6-7 Base Tonight All-Star Edition, ESPN
7-9 MLB Home Run Derby 2010 Live from Angel Stadium, ESPN
7-9 Classic MLB All-Star Games, MLB Network
Southern League All-Star Game 7:30 radio broadcast on
**Game includes Cubs farm hands Blake Lalli, Robinson Chirinos, Steve Clevenger, Tony Campana, Ryan Butcher, and Luke Sommer
9-10 Taco Bell Legends & Celebrity Softball Game (recorded Sunday), ESPN
9-10 MLB Tonight: All-Star Team, MLB Network

Noon-3 1975 All-Star Game, MLB Network
3-4 MLB All-Star Red Carpet, MLB Network
4-6:30 MLB All-Star Batting Practice, MLBN
5-7 Sports Center at the All-Star Game, ESPN
7:00 MLB All-Star Game, FOX
10-12 Sports Center at the All-Star Game, ESPN

12-3 1990 All-Star Game @Wrigley, MLBN
5-6 Plays of the First Half, MLBN
6-9 Triple-A All-Star Game PCL VS IL, MLBN
** Includes Iowa Cubs Darwin Barney and Thomas Diamond

Now for the Cubs rumors going around today:
  • Tom Ricketts has given Jim Hendry to vote of confidence, but when asked about his GM's job security the Cubs owner said, "I support him, I think he does a great job, and after that we'll just take it one day at a time."
  • Ricketts told Carrie Muskat that he's having a great time in his first year as the owner despite the team's struggles.
  • MLB Trade Rumors reports that the Rays has some interest in Ted Lilly, who could fit the Tigers and Twins as well.
  • Lou Piniella's agent Alan Nero says that Lou will definitely finish out this season but he isn't sure about Piniella's future behind this season.
  • Derrek Lee will not ask to be traded to a contender. He plans to finish out the year with the Cubs.
  • Josh Thole is one of the names that the Mets could send the other way in a Ted Lilly trade according to WGN Radio's Geoge Ofman.
  • Fred Mitchell and David Kaplan write that we should count out the Reds in the Lilly sweepstakes. They add that a Giants scout was at Wrigley last week to see Tom Gorzelanny.
  • Andrew Cashner gained some respect in the clubhouse by hitting Blake DeWitt with a pitch on his first throw of the 8th inning last night against the Dodgers.
  • Lou was not happy about the umpiring crew this weekend according to Bruce Levine.
  • Jeff Baker, Mike Fontenot, and Ryan Theriot are all being shopped. At least one of them is expected to be traded by the deadline.
  • Xavier Nady is drawing interest from the Rangers according to Levine.
  • Bruce also says that the Colorado Rockies now have interest in Theriot, but the Tigers interest has cooled.

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted on Everything Cubs as always!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

First Half Cubbie Awards

All in all, it was not a good first half for the Cubs. In fact, it was a very bad first half for our fourth place Cubbies. However, there have been a few bright spots. Let's give out the Cubs First Half Awards!

MVP: Marlon Byrd, the Cubs only All-Star
Cy Young: Carlos Silva
Biggest Surprise: Carlos Silva
Most Underrated: Sean Marshall
Most fun to Watch: Carlos Marmol
Prospect of the First Half: Brett Jackson
Pitching Prospect of the First Half: Austin Bibens-Dirkx
Best Rookie: Tyler Colvin
Best Pitching Performance: Ted Lilly's no-hit bid into the 9th against the White Sox
Biggest Offensive Game: Starlin Castro's homer, triple, and six RBIs in big league debut
Biggest Hit: Walk-off homer in the 11th by Aramis Ramirez on May 17 VS Rockies
Team Player: Marlon Byrd
Effort Award: Koyie Hill/Ted Lilly

We'll continue to review the Cubs first half of the season throughout the All-Star break. Our break posts will also feature recaps of All-Star events and minor league All-Star games, former Cub updates, a look at the rumor mill, and look at the 2009-2010 offseason now.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Getting to Know the Cubs: Mitch Atkins

Cubs right handed Mitch Atkins already spent one stint with the Cubs this season, but he did not appear in a single game before being sent down. Since he finally made his season debut last night, let's learn a little bit more about him!
Full Name:
Mitchell Shane Atkins
Birthday: October 1, 1985
Age: 24
Height/Weight: 6'3''/230 lbs
Drafted: By the Cubs in the 7th round of the 2004 draft
PCL Pitcher of the Week Awards: 8/31/09, 6/7/10
Minor League All-Star Appearances:
2006 Midwest League (Peoria)
2007 Florida State League (Daytona)
2008 Southern League (Tennessee)
Big League Debut: July 29, 2010 VS Houston- 1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 R
2009 Stats: 2 games, 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R
2010 Debut: Last night VS LAD- 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 R
2010 Stats at AAA-Iowa: 5-2, 3.60 ERA, 18 games, 10 starts, 1 save
Jersey: #60

Friday, July 9, 2010

Rumor Mill Friday: Lilly on the Market?

With the Major League Baseball trade deadline looming three weeks from tomorrow, it's time for MLB general managers to get busy with attempts to either a) improve their club's chances of winning this year or b) improve their club's chances of winning in the future. Chips are starting to fall with the trade of Cliff Lee to Texas today. How active with Jim Hendry be at the deadline?

The Cubs are finally ready to start making some deals according to a report from the Tribune yesterday. The Ricketts family is ready to address the media soon to talk about what direction the team will go in. If the club continues to struggle before the deadline, their is no doubt that they will be sellers.

Since the New York Mets lost out on Cliff Lee, they will turn to another lefty in the Cubs Ted Lilly. Jon Heyman also says the Mets like Ted, but he tweets that the Cubs have yet to make Lilly available. Heyman adds that Lilly's velocity is down. Several reports have indicated that the Cubs could try to swing a deal now to ship Lilly out for prospects and then try and sign the lefty when he hits free agency this winter. Could The Bulldog's last start as a Cub be tonight in L.A.?

Ken Davidoff agrees with the folks at the Tribune that the Cubs are getting more serious about trades. He also tweets that the Mets like the idea of taking on Lilly's contract instead of giving up more prospects.

Here are some other interesting Cub-related bits:

  • Andrew Baggardly wrote awhile back that the Giants have interest in Ryan Theriot, but now the organization has not had any talks about adding The Riot so far.
  • Lou Piniella does not plan on leaving the Cubs before the end of the season, but told Paul Sullivan that the Cubs gig will be his last managing job.
  • says that Joe Torre could be interested in taking over as the Cubs manager next season.
  • Lou says that the Cubs will most likely be sellers at the deadline.
  • The Yankees have signed Chad Tracy to a minor league deal. Chad was released by the Cubs in late June after being DFA'd a week prior.
  • In another former Cub note, Sean Gallagher will return to the NL Central. He was traded to the Pirates from San Diego with cash going the other way today.
  • There is still no timetable on Carlos Zambrano's return to the pitching staff.
  • The Cubs made a roster move earlier in the week calling up Mitch Atkins for bullpen help and placing Brian Schlitter on the 15-day DL.

Here is the full list of Cubs that could be on the trade market:

  • Ted Lilly
  • Kosuke Fukudome
  • Ryan Theriot
  • Mike Fontenot
  • Jeff Baker
  • Xavier Nady
  • Derrek Lee

It should be an interesting three weeks! I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Road to Wrigley Photos

The Peoria Chiefs beat the Kane County Cougars in the third annual Road to Wrigley game last night. Check out a full recap on my Down on the Farm Report on tomorrow, but for now enjoy some photos.

More pics on the CCO report tomorrow as well!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Game Preview: Road to Wrigley 2010

Match Up
Peoria Chiefs VS Kane County Cougars
First Pitch: 7:05pm CT
Location: Wrigley Field

About the Road to Wrigley
This will be the third annual minor league baseball game held at Wrigley Field. The Chiefs and Cougars met in the first ever event which took place in 2008. Last year, the Triple-A Iowa Cubs hosted the Las Vegas 51s in a Sunday afternoon affair. The Road to Wrigley is designed to give minor league players in the Cubs organization a taste of the big league ballpark. In 2008, the game was called in the 9th inning of a tied contest due to rain. It would later be picked up back at O'Brien Field in Peoria and the Chiefs went on to win.

Chiefs Season to Date
Overall, the Chiefs have a winning record at 41-39, but they finished third in their division in the first half. The Chiefs are the Low Class-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs and they are a part of the Midwest League. So far, their second half has been dreadful as a 3-8 record puts them in last in the 8-team Western division. Last night, Peoria's game against the Clinton LumberKings was rained out.

Cougars Season to Date
Kane County is the Class A affiliate of the Oakland A's. They are 38-43 overall but their second half mark is 6-6. That puts them just 1.5 games out of first, even though they have four teams ahead of them. The Cougars are coming off an 11-2 win over Beloit yesterday back in Kane County.

Peoria Players to Watch
Hak-Ju Lee is the most talked about prospect who is playing with the Chiefs. He is their starting short stop and lead-off man. Lee will play in the MLB Futures Game on Sunday at Angel Stadium. First baseman Justin Bour (9 homers, 51 RBIs) hits for power and is a force in the middle of the Peoria lineup. Outfielder Greg Rohan is the only Chief hitting over .300 as he checks into action tonight at .301. Also keep an eye on D.J. Fitzgerald, Logan Watkins, Matt Cerda, and 2010 draft pick Elliot Soto.

Chiefs Starting Pitcher: Rob Whitenack, RHP
Rob enters this start, his 16th of the year, with a record of 6-6 and an ERA at 5.95. In his last outing he went only 3 innings in Kane County on July 2 before being removed. Whitenack allowed 2 runs on 2 hits and four walks before he was chased and handed the loss. His best start of the year came against Lansing on June 9 when he went five shutout innings. Whitenack was drafted by the Cubs in the 8th round of the 2009 draft.

Cougars Starting Pitcher: Ian Krol, LHP
Ian enters this start, also his 16th of the year, with a sparkling 1.83 earned run average. he is 6-2 and limits opponents to a .204 batting average. Krol was selected by the A's in the 7th round of the 2009 draft out of high school. As a present for his 9th birthday, he got the throw out the first pitch at a Cougars game!

Affordable Prices
For fans, the Road to Wrigley is a major league experience for minor league prices. Tickets are still available and start at just $5 and the best seats in the house cost just $17. Parking is just $2 and concession prices are also reduced.

Family Fun
Mascots from both teams will be at the ballpark, contests will be held on the field in between innings, and even The Famous Chicken will be at Wrigley! Also, kids 14 and younger can go on the field during batting practice and run the bases after the game.

Weather Forecast
It's 84 and "fair" right now in Chicago, and but there is a chance of rain tonight. The hour-by-hour forecast shows rain starting at 5:00 and lasting through the night. There is a 60% chance of scattered thunder storms during the ballgame.

Radio Broadcast
If you can't make it out to the game, you can always tune in on or on 96.5 FM ESPN Radio locally in Peoria. The voice of the Chiefs Nathan Baliva will be at the mic!

Up Next
This is the first of a three game series between the two clubs. That set will finish up at O'Brien Field on Thursday (7:00 start) and Friday (6:30 start).

I'll have a full recap of the action posted on the blog tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Former Cubs Updates: A Look at the '08 Cubbies

Several times this year, we've updated you on the stats of the Cubs team from last year, but this time we will look at that last Cubs playoff team from 2008. The club that won 97 games will always have a special place in Cubs fans hearts. Here is a breakdown of the entire roster of guys that spent time with the team!

Still with the Cubs (15):
  • Geovany Soto
  • Derrek Lee
  • Ryan Theriot
  • Aramis Ramirez
  • Alfonso Soriano
  • Kosuke Fukudome
  • Mike Fontenot
  • Koyie Hill
  • Carlos Zambrano
  • Ryan Dempster
  • Ted Lilly
  • Sean Marshall
  • Carlos Marmol
  • Bobby Howry (left the Cubs for '09 and start of '10, then returned)
  • Randy Wells

In the Cubs System, not on active roster (3):

  • Micah Hoffpauir (AAA-Iowa)
  • Jeff Samardzija (AAA-Iowa)
  • Angel Guzman (60-day DL)

Retired (3):

  • Jon Lieber: Retired after the '08 season
  • Chad Fox: Played in only three games with the Cubs in '08 and two in '09. During the second game of the '09 season, he left with a career ending injury.
  • Scott Eyre: Spent part of '08 and all of '09 with the Phillies before retiring this winter.

With Other Big League Teams (13:

  • Mark DeRosa (Giants): Announced last month that he will miss the rest of the season with a wrist injury. He hit .194 in just 26 games before going down with the injury this year.
  • Jim Edmonds (Brewers): After sitting out the 2009 season, Jim returned to the NL Central this year. He's hitting .269 in 51 games with the Brewers.
  • Reed Johnson (Dodgers): Left via free agency after the '09 season. Reed is hitting .291 in 64 games for LA this season.
  • Ronny Cedeno (Pirates): Was traded to Seattle before the '09 season. He ended up moving on to Pittsburgh by the end of the year. He's hitting just .219 in 69 games with the last place Bucs.
  • Henry Blanco (Mets): Left via free agency after the '08 season. Henry spent '09 with the Padres and is hitting .284 in 27 games for the Mets this season.
  • Felix Pie (Orioles): Activated from the DL today. He was 8-22 with 1 HR before being sidelined. This is his second year with the O's.
  • Eric Patterson (Red Sox): Recently traded from Oakland to Boston. He hit .204 in 45 games with the A's this season, but is off to a good start (5-15) with the Bo-Sox.
  • Casey McGehee (Brewers): Letting Casey go was a mistake. He's hitting .274 with 13 HRs and 52 RBIs in 78 games with the Crew this year.
  • Michael Wuertz (A's): Was traded to the Bay Area for two prospects before the '09 season. 2-1 with a 5.51 ERA in 22 games this year after a great '09 where his ERA was 2.63.
  • Chad Gaudin (Yankees): Has bounced around since being let go after Spring Training 2009. Gaudin has a 4.96 ERA in 9 relief appearances with New York so far since being pick up in May.
  • Kerry Wood (Indians): Signed with Cleveland after the '08 season. He has a 6.27 ERA, 8 saves, and a 1-3 record this year in 21 games.
  • Rich Harden (Rangers): 3-3, 5.68 ERA, 13 starts for Texas after signing there last offseason.
  • Jason Marquis (Nationals): Currently on the DL with the Nats. Marquis only pitcheed in three games in DC this season. He was great with the Rockies last year after the Cubs traded him before the '09 season.

Currently with Minor League teams (6)

  • Matt Murton: Currently with the Hashin Tigers in Japan. He made the NPB All-Star team. Matt had played with the A's and Rockies since he left the Cubs in the Rich Harden trade.
  • Daryle Ward: Playing with the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League. He's hitting .293 with 9 homers and 44 RBIs in 63 games there. He spent part of last season with Newark and in the chains of the Nationals, White Sox, and Reds.
  • Jose Ascaino: On the DL in the Pirates organization. He was a part of the Gorzo/Grabow deal last season.
  • Kevin Hart: After coming over along with Ascaino in a trade last year, Kevin pitcher horribly for the Pirates. This year, he's 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA in 5 games (4 starts) at AAA-Indianapolis.
  • Neal Cotts: Signed a minor league deal with the Pirates before this season but has not played at any level yet this year.
  • Rich Hill: Started the year in the Cardinals organization (4-3, 4.30 ERA at Triple-A) before opting out of his contract to sign a minor league deal with the on June 30. He has a 1.93 ERA in 2 games at AAA-Pawtucket so far.

Free Agents (2):

  • Sean Gallagher: Recently DFA'd by the Padres. He had a 5.40 ERA in 15 games before being let go.
  • Carmen Pignatiello: Played in the Northern Leauge last season but has not played yet this year.

I'll keep you posted on our former Cubbies!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Series Preview: Cubs VS D'backs

After a 2-5 homestand, the Cubs will try to bounce back in this three game series in Arizona. The two teams are meeting at Chase Field for the first time this season. The Cubs took three out of four at Wrigley Field from April 29-May 2, which was the first series between the two clubs in 2010. The Cubs and Diamondbacks will not meet again until next season after Wednesday's game.

The Cubs are embarking on a seven game road trip that leads up to the All-Star Break. After this series, they will play four at Dodger Stadium. The Cubs are in fourth place with a 35-47 mark. They are 11.5 back of first place Cincinnati but just two back of the third place Brewers. The Cubs dropped three of four against the Reds at Wrigley this weekend. Yesterday's game got ugly in the seventh inning when Ted Lilly and Jeff Stevens gave up a total of eight runs. Drew Stubbs hit three home runs on the Fourth of July in his team's 14-3 blowout win.

The Cubs are 15-24 on the road going into this West Coast trip, and 3-7 in their last ten games. However, things have also been a struggle for the D'backs. They fired manager A.J. Hinch and GM Josh Byrnes last week. Jerry Dipoto will take over GM duties for the rest of the year and bench coach Kirk Gibson has been named the interim manager. Gibson's club has a 32-50 record, which puts them in dead last in the NL West, 17 games behind the Padres.

The D'backs are in the middle of a ten game homestand that they started by losing two of three to the Dodgers. They dropped yesterday's game 3-1. After the Cubs leave town, the Marlins will come in for four before the break.

Both teams have only one All-Star. Chris Young and Marlon Byrd are both NL reserve outfielders, and both men will make their first trip to the Mid-Summer Classic. Young is hitting .264 with 15 homers and 57 RBIs. Byrd leads the Cubs with a .309 average to go along with his 9 homers, 35 RBIs, and .355 OBP.

Aramis Ramirez, who's hitting just .177 in 55 games, was scratched on Sunday with swelling in his thumb. He has already missed several weeks with a thumb injury this season. No timetable has been set for his return.

The homestand was not a favorable one for the Cubs. Lee hit .120, Theriot hit .222, Lilly gave up a career high 11 hits on Sunday, and they stranded 17 guys on base in Saturday's win. The Cubs are looking to snap a string of losing 11 straight series openers with a win this afternoon. In those 11 series, the Boys in Blue are 1-10. Tyler Colvin, who went deep twice yesterday for the first time in his career, is the only Cub swinging the bat well.

Game 1: Monday at 3:10 CT
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Tom Gorzelanny, LHP (2-5, 3.14 ERA)
D'backs Starting Pitcher: Ian Kennedy, RHP (3-6, 3.77 ERA)
TV/Radio: CSN/WGN 720

Game 2: Tuesday at 8:40 CT
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Carlos Silva, RHP (8-2, 2.96 ERA)
D'backs Starting Pitcher: Barry Enright, RHP (1-0, 1.80 ERA)
TV/Radio: CSN/WGN 720

Game 3: Wednesday at 8:40 CT
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Ryan Dempster, RHP (6-7, 3.54 ERA)
D'backs Starting Pitcher: Edwin Jackson, RHP (6-6, 4.74 ERA)
TV/Radio: WGN-TV/WGN 720

Can the Cubs lackluster offense pick it up? It will be a challenge, as the Cubs have always been known to have problems on the West Coast!

"I don't care who wins as long as it's the Cubs!"

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Numbers Breakdown: Are Marmol & Silva All-Star Snubs?

Before we get into tonight's Number Breakdown, a come of other matters of business. First of all, congratulations to Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd on his All-Star Selection. Byrd will be the lone Cubs representative on July 13 at Angel Stadium. Shifting gears, I want to wish all of my readers a happy Fourth of July! Even though our favorite team has dropped three of four, I hope you enjoyed a nice holiday weekend with friends and family.

Most of our voters on our last poll on the right sidebar agree that Marlon Byrd is the most deserving Cub in the All-Star Game. However, pitchers Carlos Silva and Carlos Marmol also got a good amount of votes. In my opinion, Silva and Marmol should be in the Mid-Summer Classic. Let's compare the stats of Silva and Marmol to that of the other pitchers on the National League staff in today's Numbers Breakdown!

Carlos Silva: 8-2, 2.96 ERA, 1.08 WHIP
Carlos Marmol: 2-1, 2.13 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 16.3 K/9, 15 SV
Roy Halladay: 9-7, 2.42 ERA, 1.11 WHIP
Josh Johnson: 8-3, 1.82 ERA, 0.97 WHIP
Tim Lincecum: 8-4, 3.28 ERA, 1.30 WHIP
Tim Hudson: 8-3, 2.37 ERA, 1.17 WHIP
Jonathan Broxton: 3-0, 2.08 ERA, 16 SV
Arthur Rhodes: 3-2, 1.09 ERA, 0.91 WHIP
Adam Wainwright: 11-5, 2.34 ERA, 1.03 WHIP
Chris Carpenter: 9-2, 3.16 ERA, 1.21 WHIP
Brain Wilson: 2-0, 2.10 ERA, 22 SV
Evan Meek: 3-2, 0.98 ERA, 1 SV
Ubaldo Jimenez: 14-1, 2.27 ERA
Matt Capps: 2-3, 3.19 ERA, 22 SV, 1.39 WHIP, 7.9 K/9
Yovani Gallardo: 8-3, 2.56 ERA

So, there are some really good NL relievers. However, Marmol should be an All-Star over Matt Capps. Since Washington has to have an All-Star, the Capps selection over Marmol is acceptable.

However, Carlos Silva is definitely a snub. He should be in the game over Carpenter and Lincecum. It is still possible that a Cub will be called to replace someone due to injury or a Sunday before the break start.

Remember, the numbers don't lie!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Down on the Farm Report 7/3/10

With all my other writings on the Cubs system, I haven't had much of a chance to update this site on Cubs prospects yet this season. Now that the present isn't looking so great, it's a perfect time to look to the future! If you are not aware yet, I tweet about the Cubs minor league system. Go to Also, I write a Down on the Farm Report twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays) over at

Now let's get into how the future Cubs are doing, level by level.

AAA-Iowa Cubs
Overall Record: 43-37
Place in Division: 3rd, 0.5 GB of first
Leading Hitter: Matt Camp, .302
HR Leader: Jason Dubois, 11
RBI Leader: Micah Hoffpauir, 54
Best OBP: Bobby Scales, .389
Best ERA: Thomas Diamond, 2.53
Best WHIP: Jay Jackson, 1.10
Most Wins: Casey Coleman, 7
Most Ks: Thomas Diamond, 87
Saves Leader: Brian Schlitter, 12- promoted to MLB
AAA-All Stars (July 14): Pitcher Thomas Diamond and SS Darwin Barney
Futures Game: Manager Ryne Sandberg will serve as a coach for the World Team

AA-Tennessee Smokies
Overall Record: 48-32
First Half Finish: First Place, clinched playoff birth
Second Half Record: 6-5
Place in division: 2nd, 1 GB
Leading Hitter: Tony Campana, .321
HR Leader: Russ Canzer/Ty Wright (promoted to AAA), 10
RBI Leader: Ty Wright, 51- promoted to AAA
Best OBP: Blake Lalli, .383
Best ERA: Hung-Wen Chen, 2.96
Best WHIP: Austin Bibens-Dirkx, 1.01
Wins Leader: Hung-Wen Chen, 8
Ks Leader: Craig Muschko, 8
Saves Leader: David Cales, 10
Southern League All-Star (July 12) Starters: Blake Lalli, Robinson Chirinos, and Tony Campana
Southern League All-Star Reserves: Steve Clevenger, Ty Wright (replaced on roster, callup)
Southern League All-Star Pitchers: Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Hung-Wen Chen, David Cales, and Ryan Butcher
MLB Futures Game: Outfielder Brett Jackson will play for U.S. team, manager Bill Dancy will be a coach for team U.S.A.

Class-A Advanced Daytona Cubs
Overall Record: 39-40
First Half Finish: 5th, 7 GB
Second Half Record: 5-4
Place in Division: Tied for 2nd, 2 GB
Leading Hitter: Brett Jackson, .316 promoted to AA-Tennessee
HR Leader: Brett Jackson, 6
RBI Leader: DJ LeMahieu, 51
Best OBP: Brett Jackson, .420
Best ERA: Chris Archer, 2.86
Best WHIP: Chris Rusin, 1.07
Win Leader: Chris Archer, 7
K Leader: Chris Archer, 82
Saves Leader: Luke Sommer, 6
FSL All-Stars: (played in the game on June 12): Jackson, Rafael Dolis, Aaron Shafer

Class-A Peoria Chiefs
Overall Record: 41-36
First Half Finish: 3rd, 5.5 GB
Second Half Record: 3-5
Place in Division: Tied for 6th, 3 GB
Leading Hitter: Greg Rohan, .290
HR Leader: Justin Bour, 8
RBI Leader: Greg Rohan, 50
Best OBP: Matt Cerda, .370
Best ERA: Su-Min Jung, 3.74
Best WHIP: Jeffry Antigua, 1.37
Wins Leader: Trey McNutt/Rob Whitenack, 6
Ks Leader: Try McNutt, 70 promoted to Daytona
Saves Leader: Jordan Latham, 10
Midwest League All-Stars (June 22): Hak-Ju Lee, Logan Watkins, Matt Cerda, & Trey McNutt
Futures Game (July 11): Hak-Ju Lee, World Team

Updates from this year's draft picks, the Boise Hawks, and the Mesa Cubs next time!

Friday, July 2, 2010

End of the Week Quick Hits: Minor League All-Stars, Tracy Released, Dusty on the Cubs, and More

  • According to a post from, Chad Tracy cleared waivers and opted for his release instead of reporting to AAA-Iowa.
  • Jeff Dickerson reports that Carlos Zambrano will need a minor league tune-up start before rejoining the Cubs pitching staff after the All-Star Break.
  • On Sunday at Noon CT, the MLB All-Star Selection Show will be live on TBS. One player from each team has to be named to the Midsummer Classic, so there will be at least one Cub. Carlos Silva, Marlon Byrd, Carlos Marmol, and Alfonso Soriano are the four Cubs that have a shot.
  • Phil Rogers of the Tribune tossed out the name Sean Marshall for the NL team, but it's tough for a middle relief guy to be an All-Star.
  • Dusty Baker says that managing the Cubs is tough because the fans are restless after 100+ years without a World Series.
  • Writer George Castle thinks the Lou needs to make three changes: move Castro to the two hole, move Colvin to the middle of the order, and move Cashner to the rotation.
  • The Cubs and the City of Mesa are holding meetings in effort to reach a formal agreement to keep the team in the city for Spring Training, according to the Tribune.
  • Ryan Theriot is out of the lineup again today, making it three straight days without a start. Mike Fontenot is batting second and playing second, with Koyie Hill behind the plate and Tyler Colvin leading off in left.
  • Former Cub Sean Gallagher was DFA'd by the Padres yesterday.
  • Mark Prior's agent says that one club wants to sign him after his workout this week. Tom Krasovic tweets that 15 scouts were there and Prior hit 90 mph.
  • A GM poll conducted by says that most general managers think that Jim Hendry is the easiest guy to make a deal with.
  • The Padres are looking to add some offense, so MLBTR speculates that Xavier Nady could be an option for San Diego.
  • Dan McNeil thinks that Carlos Zambrano is a lost cause.
  • The Cubs are 11 games under .500 for the first time under Lou Piniella.
  • Iowa Cubs Darwin Barney (SS) and Thomas Diamond (RHP) have been named to the Triple-A All-Star Game, which is Wednesday July 14 at 6:00 on MLB Network.
  • The Tennessee Smokies send nine guys to the Southern League All-Star game on July 12. Blake Lalli, Tony Campana, and Robinson Chirinos are all in the starting lineup. Steve Clevenger (catcher) and pitchers Austin Bibens-Dirkx, David Cales, Ryan Butcher, and Hung-Wen Chen are also on the squad. Outfielder Ty Wright was selected as well, but he has been replaced because of his promotion to AAA-Iowa.

That's it for now, but I'll keep you posted on Everything Cubs as always.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Series Preview: Cubs VS Reds

June is history! The Cubs will welcome in July today after going 10-16 last month. They've had their chances against last place teams, but they've lost to the likes of Pittsburgh and Seattle. Perhaps a good opponent is just was the doctor ordered.

Can the Cubs step up their game against the first place Cincinnati Reds, who come into play today 0.5 game ahead of the Cardinals in the NL Central? The Reds are fighting for first, and they will do their best to take advantage of a meager Cubs offense. The Cubbies are ten games under at 33-43, which means they need a win today to avoid setting a new low water mark for the year. In fact, the Cubs have not been 11 under .500 in four years under Lou Piniella.

Speaking of managers, whenever these two teams meet it's a reunion of sorts. Sweet Lou spent three years in Cincinnati, including the World Series champion 1990 ballclub. Current Reds skipper Dusty Baker is returning to Wrigley Field, where he managed from 2003-2006. Piniella is in the final year of his contract and is in a situation similar to the one Dusty was in in '06. Chris Speier (bench coach, former Cubs third base coach) and Juan Lopez (former Cub and current Red bullpen coach) are still a part of Baker's staff.

The Cubs have fallen to forth place, 9.5 back of the Reds and 1 game behind the now third place Brewers. The Crew open a series with the Cardinals today. Cincinnati is in town for four straight day games that wraps up the seven game homestand at Wrigley.

The Cubs are coming off losing two of three to the Pirates to fall to 3-9 against the Bucs this year. In the three games, they scored a total of just four runs. The series finale, a 2-0 loss despite five shutout innings from ex-Pirate Tom Gorzelanny, was particularly frustrating. Andrew Cashner continued his recent struggles as he has gotten the loss in each of his last three appearances. The Cubs bats were silent, Aramis Ramirez made a costly error on defense, and Sean Marshall walked in a run.

The Reds just concluded a six game stretch at the Great American Ballpark where they went 4-2. The beat a good Phillies team 4-3 on Wednesday to take the series and finish the month 13-13. When the first place club had an average month and the Cubs had an "easy" schedule, you know Lou's crew missed a chance to make up some ground. From now on, they will have to do it against the good teams.

The Cubbies hope to finally put an end to their struggles in series openers today. They have dropped ten straight game ones and haven't started off a set with a win since May 25 against the Dodgers. Alfonso Soriano is a guy that needs to heat up. When he gets hot, he can carry the team on his back. Sori has showed some signs of getting hot with two solo-homers in Tuesday's win and a deep fly ball to the warning track that would have left the yard on most days on Wednesday.

John Grabow was placed on the DL with a knee injury during the last series. The Cubs now have four rookies in the bullpen in Andrew Cashner, Jeff Stevens, James Russell, and Brian Schlitter, but youth is not necessarily a bad thing. Grabow will wait for the swelling in his knee to lessen a may miss as long as a month.

Yesterday, Mike Fontenot got the start at second base and Ryan Theriot received the day off. According to FOX Sports, the Red Sox had talks about acquiring Little Mike before they settled on Eric Patterson. Could the Cubs be showcasing Fontenot for a possible trade? Will he see a few starts in this series?

On a quick note... the Major League Baseball All-Star voting ends tonight at 10:59 CT. Be sure to log on to or and give the Cubs players your votes! You can cast your votes 25 times per email address.

After only winning one series in the month of June, the Cubs will look to get that first series of July out of the way right off the bat this weekend.

Game 1: Thursday at 1:20 CT
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Carlos Silva, RHP (8-2, 3.01 ERA)
Reds Starting Pitcher: Travis Wood, LHP (MLB Debut)
TV/Radio: CSN/WGN Radio 720

Games 2: Friday at 1:20 CT
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Ryan Dempster, RHP (6-6, 3.58 ERA)
Red Starting Pitcher: Bronson Arroyo, RHP (7-4, 4.49 ERA)
TV/Radio: WGN-TV/WGN Radio 720

Game 3: Saturday at 12:05 CT
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Randy Wells, RHP (3-6, 4.96 ERA)
Reds Starting Pitcher: Johnny Cueto, RHP (8-2, 3.74 ERA)
TV/Radio: CSN/WGN Radio 720

Game 4: Sunday at 1:20 CT
Cubs Starting Pitcher: Ted Lilly (3-6, 3.12 ERA)
Reds Starting Pitcher: TBA
TV/Radio: WGN-TV/WGN Radio 720

The Cubs will look to avoid giving guys their first big league debut on back-to-back days. Travis Wood was called up from AAA after Sam LeCure was sent down. Wood, a former second round pick, was 5-6 with a 3.12 ERA at Louisville before the callup.

The Chicago Cubs will finish up the first half on the West Coast against the D'backs and Dodgers. After this weekend, they will not return to Wrigley until July 15 after the All-Star break. Dusty's club will continue their road swing in New York, and then finish up the first half in Philly. They will return to the Windy City August 6-8 and the Cubs go to Great American the final weekend of August.